Kerstin’s Chocolates
10139 — 112 St.

Rating: *****
Signature Dish: Hand-made truffles (8 for $12)
Signature Drink: Chocophilia Dark Drinking Chocolate ($18.95)

Everything at Kerstin’s Chocolates is legal: though some should probably be registered as a dangerous weapon on a first date.

There are books and Bodums to browse, but the experience revolves around the chocolate we were here to seek. We had decided to host a chocolate tasting for our foodie friends, and we were here for supplies.

To drink, a tin of dark, vanilla-laced drinking chocolate ($18.95) would go a long way next to some tawny port. I picked up an assortment of five succulent truffles ($8.50) and a stack of six rich chocolate disks called Mendiants ($10), which bore a variety of fruit, spices and nuts.

The best value was a $10 sampler pack, which included a pink grapefruit chocolate bar from Austria (the love child of Ruby Red and Big Turk), a luscious nougat mushroom, a milk chocolate Tanariva bar and a couple of dark chocolate Valrhone sticks. I customized the pack to include one of Kerstin’s own extraordinary pumpkin pie chocolate bars. Along with a darker-chocolate Omega Lime Chocophilia bar ($4.75) and a few bags of bark ends ($4 each), I was ready for my guests.

It is amazing what a difference it makes to buy Kerstin’s over Cadbury. The care and hand-picked ingredients add so much weight and power that gluttony seems gauche. Each of us sampled three or four assorted pieces, sipped at the silky sweetness of our hot chocolate, and praised Kerstin’s name to the stars.

Pot of Gold just doesn’t cut it any more. With prices that range from unexpectedly affordable to slightly pricey, a Kerstin’s bag is your ticket to your sweetie’s heart — and your key to her libido!

Dining out

BUFFET Keeping up with the theme, the Sutton Place all-you-can-eat Chocoholic Buffet. Every Thursday and Friday evening, $16 includes a beverage and a lifetime of wondering if you could move to a chocolate-only diet.

TASTING Finally, check out Chocolate Exquisite’s tastings, which feature 20 different chocolates, mostly single-origin, one port and four dessert wines. Visit

In brief
SINK THE SHIP Drop off non-perishable food items at the Edmonton Queen between noon and 6 p.m. from Friday to Sunday. Also ask about the Food Bank’s new fund- and friend-raising campaign, Food Forever 2 by 2.

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